Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On Being a New Mom, Part 1

I remember, very precisely, when my water broke while pregnant with my first baby. I remember all of the events that followed . I remember laughing and crying as my new, baby boy was laid on my chest. I just barely remember Dave standing there. For a moment, this screaming, red-faced little boy eclipsed even the love of my life. It is something I will never forget.

What else to I remember? I remember crying, again, as the nurse helped get me and my baby ready to leave the hospital. I didn't want to leave. I was surprised that I didn't want to leave but it did not change the fact that I was not ready to be mom. When you are pregnant, there is no shortage of women sharing their stories with you; mostly happy, some funny. You find yourself assuming that the minute you go into labor, the magic begins. There is a little magic, like what I mentioned above. But that's about it. Reality sets in immediately and it's a bit surprising.

When I got home with my sweet boy, I did not feel that magical, mystical, instant connection with him. I loved him because I was his mother and that's what mothers do. It just didn't feel at all like I thought it was going to feel like. What I felt was tired, overwhelmed and out of whack.

You don't really understand how exhausted you will be (and stay) until you experience it. Your new bundle of joy is only going to sleep for two hours at a time to begin with. And when he wakes, it won't be to coo contentedly at your side while you doze. He will awaken with demands of food, clean diapers, clean clothes. What that means is, to begin with, you are not going to be getting good, consistent sleep. So, I was tired. And, I cried, because that's what I do when I am really, really tired. Back then, I wondered what was wrong with me. Now I look back and think, "No, duh!"

And, the hormones, Oh, the hormones! They never really explain the HORMONES to you. Not that I think you'd truly understand. Again, it's one of those things that you have to experience in order to understand it. I was all over the place. I never talked to any one about how I was feeling. I wish I had because I am certain I would have be met with much understanding and sympathy. I remember crying every day for no reason I could put my finger on. Looking back, again, "No, duh!"

That was the first three weeks. Then, just like that, I started crying. (Again?) This time, I was crying because in three weeks, I was going to have to leave my little baby boy with a babysitter while I went back to work. I couldn't imagine being separated from him. Little did I know, during the past three weeks of living the life of a zombie, I was forming a connection with my Nathanael. Just like that, I was no longer just a mom. I was Mom.



  1. Amen! My most enduring memory of my 3 fresh newborns was kissing their warm damp hair as they lay on my chest. My least enjoyable memory was the feeling of my insides dropping back down into my abdomen when I first got off the bed. Great post!

  2. Thanks, Emma! I remember that feeling, too. Ah, pregnancy, labor and delivery. Not for the faint of heart!


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